Don Lemon brought actor Terry Crews onto his show for an interview, though it soon became clear the only thing the CNN host planned to do was lecture the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star.
Crews, who is outspokenly Christian, has been facing increased backlash on social media from Black Lives Matter activists, some of whom have called the 51-year-old entertainer “worthless” because of his opinions.
So over the weekend, Crews tried to explain why he is not interested in sowing more division along ethnic lines:
That tweet echoed an earlier message from Crews, who warned against the Black Lives Matter movement becoming the “Black Lives Better” movement.
Clearly frustrated by Crews’ opinions, Lemon decided to invite the actor to come on his show and explain his point of view.
Crews then explained — at length — why he believes the “militant” leadership within the Black Lives Matter movement is problematic.
“Black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races, they’re being viewed as sellouts and called ‘Uncle Toms,’” Crews told Lemon, arguing the movement could soon morph into a “supremacist” initiative.
While he agreed with the three words “black lives matter,” which he called a “great mantra” and a “true mantra,” Crews suggested the movement could spark a “move from one oppressor to the next,” pointing out the rampant gun violence in black communities across America, noting in particular the number of black children who have been killed in recent weeks as a result of inner-city violence.
Lemon told Crews he didn’t understand what black-on-black violence had “to do with equality” and the worth of black lives in America.
At that, the CNN host took over, spending the remainder of their nearly 10-minute discussion lecturing Crews for his perspective, which Lemon presumably believes to be wrong. He then told Crews if he wants to talk about the worthiness of black lives in a way different from the organized Black Lives Matter movement, the celebrity needs to start his own campaign.
“The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality,” Lemon said. “If you want an all-black Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including black communities, then start that movement with that name. But that’s not what Black Lives Matter is about. It’s not all-encompassing.”
“So if you are talking about — if someone started a movement that said cancer matters, and then someone comes and says, ‘Why aren’t you talking about HIV?’ It’s not the same thing,” he continued. “We’re talking about cancer. So the Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that manner, not about what’s happening in black neighborhoods.”
Crews attempted to get Lemon to see the issue is much more complex and nuanced than he’s apparently willing to concede.
But when the “America’s Got Talent” host tried to respond to Lemon’s lecture, the CNN anchor told Crews the segment was “over” and he had “to go.”